Why Does The Moon Look Different Further South?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - A reader noticed while visiting Nevada, that the lit part of the crescent moon appears pointing more down like a dish instead of at an angle in the Northwest.

When in crescent phases, the moon's lit side always points directly toward the sun, but the sun sets at different angles to the horizon depending on latitude. Near the equator, the sun hits the horizon at about a 90-degree angle, so the crescent faces straight down toward the sun and the lit side looks like a dish.

As you go further north in latitude, the sun sets at more of an angle to the horizon (in Seattle, it averages about 45 degrees) so the crescent part of the moon points at a similar angle toward the sun.

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